Why Every Nonprofit Worker Should Have a Side Hustle (And 4 Things You Should Know)

 Photo via Chris Guillebeau on Flickr. Tune into Chris' #SideHustleSchool. New episode every day.

Photo via Chris Guillebeau on Flickr. Tune into Chris' #SideHustleSchool. New episode every day.

I could think of a hundred reasons why every nonprofit professional should have a "side hustle" (i.e. making money from a part-time gig) here are my top three.

  1. You need the money.
  2. You don't want to be doing the same job for the rest of your life.
  3. Your boss is an asshole.

There are plenty of other good reasons to have a side hustle. Add your reason here:

I need a side hustle because ______________________________.

Now that we have that cleared up, the next question is How do you get started with a side hustle? 

I have a great resource for you. The folks over at ConvertKit have just released a FREE guide: Every Day I'm (Side) Hustlin'. As the ConvertKit team says, after reading it you won't have any excuses NOT to start a side hustle.

Here's what I would add to what I found in this great guide.

A Side Hustle is a Great Place to Start

Most people aren't in the position to quit their full-time job and just live off a side gig. That's why it's so much smarter to start a side gig while you still have a full-time job.

That's what I did.

I had just started a new job in 2004 when I launched my cause marketing blog Selfish Giving. Not long afterward, I started consulting and speaking on the side. I didn't make a lot of money at first. But the money grew as the years passed.

In 2010, Wiley Publishing invited me to write Cause Marketing for Dummies. This side gig gave me the confidence to go full-time a year later.

For seven years, I had no choice but to keep my full-time job. I needed the money. This may be you. Don't go quitting your job! Start with a side-hustle and, if you want, grow it into your full-time hustle. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a full-time job and a side hustle forever. It's your choice!

You Have to Love Your Side Hustle

Because you'll still be working full-time and part-time on a side gig, it's absolutely necessary that you pick an idea you love! Think about it, you'll be putting extra hours in on this project. You'll be working nights, holidays and weekends and missing time with friends and family. Do you really want to be working on something that you just feel just meh about? If you say yes, you're fooling yourself because you won't be working on it for long.

Your side hustle may be in an area that is an extension of your full-time job, or it may not. If you're not passionate about your daytime work, pick something different for your side hustle. Think aspirationally about your side hustle. For me, my side hustle reflected the person I wanted to become someday. What will your side hustle say about you?

Build a Web Site Fast on Squarespace

The team over at ConvertKit likes Squarespace and so do I. I've been a Squarespace user since 2012 or so and I'm a big fan.

Squarespace is great for non-technical people. It's very plug and play. I also don't have to worry about anything except paying my Squarespace fee every year, which is very reasonable. Everything - like hosting - is included with your plan. You even get a free domain when you open up an account.

A few other things I like about Squarespace:

  • Squarespace cover pages are great. I subscribe to Leadpages, but most of the time I end up creating landing pages with Squarespace.
  • You can easily create a membership site on Squarespace. I use MemberSpace.
  • I haven't any trouble using Squarespace with any other service or app. I use MemberSpace, ConvertKit, Sumo, vCita and Leadpages and have had no issues.
  • Squarespace customer service is pretty good. I often use their chat feature to quickly get answers to questions.
  • Squarespace sites are automatically optimized for mobile. Check out how this post looks on your phone!

Forget Social Media. Focus on Email Marketing

I wish I took email marketing more seriously in the beginning of my career. Sure, social media is fun but you need that one-on-one relationship with your readers that only email can deliver.

If I had to start from scratch with a web site, I would make email my #1 focus. I would have also started using ConvertKit a lot sooner than I did. I spent a whole decade with another email company before I switched to a service that is better, easier and cheaper!

Being laser-focused on email marketing means:

  • Using pop-ups on your website to collect emails. Yes, they are annoying and everyone says they hate them. But they work!
  • Sending out a weekly newsletter. If you can only send out a newsletter once or twice a month to start that's fine. But your goal should be a weekly email appointment with your subscribers.
  • Every interaction with a new person should include: "Can I add you to my email newsletter list?" Never miss a chance to grow your list.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, starting a side hustle has never been easier and more fun.

Need help? Consider coaching with me.